Fan Fiction: Critiquing Your Own Stories

Years ago when I was still active on Winglin and other online communities, there was an explosion of different authors and readers alike coming out with websites or their own page to critique different fan fiction authors. Whether it was to help the authors improve their writing techniques or just something fun to do, it was quite an experience. I never submitted my stories to any of those websites but found them intriguing because I learned of how an author’s perspective could be versus how readers see it. It’s so obvious for everyday, published authors to go through this process. But at that time when I started posting my stories online, it was a new experience for me and it opened my eyes to some levels.

So, what’s the point of this post, right? Especially when I’ve been lagging soooo much on stories. This is an attempt to get back into it. Because the following will be an activity like the title said. I’m going to have fun and critique all the fanfictions I’ve ever written. Yes, I won’t leave anything untouched. But before I do, here’s a disclaimer for those who haven’t read the stories yet (so don’t say I didn’t warn you):

NOTE: The following contains spoilers (obviously from the title), SO if you haven’t read my stories yet, DO NOT proceed.

The beginning of the story had great potential and felt refreshing. It paved a nice and peaceful picture and a hopeful feeling because it described the two major characters’ feelings and goals in life. The humorous exchanges between several characters led readers to believe it would be a fun story. Although it had some typical formula of a small-town family with the scenic backdrop to pave the way, there was some mystery with various characters that readers could look forward to exploring. All in all, it paved a promising picture.

The problem with this story was that it was too wordy. It was one of my first attempts at writing fanfiction so it got so messy with descriptions. It didn’t take into account “show instead of telling” so it felt flaky and corny. In addition, because there was a setback with the last few chapters so it dived into the morbid side without intending to in the first place. It completely took away from the main plot and its lighthearted feeling that was established in the first place. A bad call. Like the feeling when the writers totally gave up and just wanted to end it already like how I often criticize them, lol. Also, the feeling of the celebs chosen was so random and unorganized, like lumping a bunch of people together just because. It felt like a test run.

Heaven’s Gift

The setting at the beach at the beginning of the story was promising and lighthearted. It presented a typical picture yet also let readers see a glimpse into each major character’s personality with a dash of humor. It seemed like they didn’t change much over the years, except for the circumstances around them. Light humor continued to occupy the scene, paving the story and pushing the major characters together–or apart–as time went by. There were some surprising details to the plot but it lacked some details here and there, not allowing the full potential of the plot to be explored.

HIDE & SEEK

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Honey In Tea

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Neurotic

Like some other stories, it started out describing the scenery and then introducing the characters. The weather, once again, like some other stories, gave hints to what the plot was going to be like. There was some side humor but just subtle, not too much. It was saying like the story meant business and it was no time to joke around, not really.

It was an interesting concept although it didn’t take in a lot of rules of sci-fi and went off the rails regarding technicalities. However, what made up for it was the layout of the major characters. It kept consistent and featured three female leads. What broke the rule for the third one was leading into a happier, hopeful ending than was predicted. It also gave more character and depth to one of the so-called villains and even allowed for that person to redeem himself and had a start over.

Payback

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Scheming Nature

This was a typical setup of two pairings that were living on the opposite side of society. They met and interacted and somehow became entangled in a complex scheme. It provided a sense of mystery to the overall story and made the readers want to know what was to come and where the story was heading toward. The ending was a bit of an unknown, especially after the intense confrontations between two of the major characters and how it went down. However, it proved to be going on a typical route with allowing all problems to be resolved in a more favorable manner.

This story attempted to mock the life of gangsters and how it was supposed to be yet failed because, in the end, it was equally cliche and was corny in a sense of allowing some bizarre details to come into play. Although having the theme of gang-related activities as the backdrop for the plot, it failed to achieve its intended effect because of the halfway compromise of the mood as an overall. Sometimes, it edged toward the side of intensity or darkness that could push past the barriers of safety but it was shy of making it into something much more.

Slanted Thoughts

The story started out really random, bordering childishness because of the constant fights between two of the major characters. However, it evolved into a sadder story because of what happened at the end. Although it attempted to resurrect the atmosphere with some side humor, the plot never recovered with the happiness felt at the beginning of the story. It was later explained in the second part why it was so and eventually leading the plot into a darker path than was originally intended to–or so it seemed when compared to the beginning of the first part. What the plot lacked severely was the explanation and more details into a certain mysterious organization that impacted some characters’ lives so many years and ongoing. Some of the undertones provided a hint about how they were a big deal and were not to be messed with. Yet it failed to back up the claim as the story went along and eventually wrapped up. It also never explained why Tammy’s character had so much impact on what Wallace’s life was going to be and yet left him alone after he had apparently restored his memories. Or was it because it was to emphasize how scary he was if he returned to his past self? Or because the organization didn’t care how things turned out and that it was only important they kept everything a secret? Some things were never answered.

Slicing Boundary

This was a fun read, at least at the beginning. Sure, there were childish humor and constant competition between the two siblings–or so readers thought as it was with typical siblings rivalry. However, it took a dark turn, killing a major character unnecessarily. Was that an attempt to be overdramatic? Or was it because the writer just decided to give up and end it that way?

The Business

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The Dating Game

The story seemed really random but that wasn’t a bad thing. It hinted potential with so many major characters involved and how each was at a different point in their lives. It was fascinating to see how they all met and would become important–one way or another–in each other’s lives. The story shifted between humor and intensity and back again. Yet always managed to push the plot forward, introducing new characters or circumstances into their lives and how they would react to those situations.

Although the cast was so extended that it provided an outlet for many story arches yet because it was so crowded that it didn’t allow for a focus on some characters. Also, some of the characters had suffered from the inconsistency of personality, except for the main characters. It also created an unrealistic atmosphere with so many of their gatherings and their strong bonds over the years. It could be both good and bad but mostly it was unrealistic. Not to mention how ridiculously meddlesome most of them were of one another’s lives. The occasional stalking of various parties was equally bizarre.

The Other Extreme

The first scene already gave a snapshot of what the story was going to be about and how the dark mood predicted the inevitable ending for some characters. The weather foreshadowed a lot of the scenes that were to come for the story. The layout wasn’t bad yet the constant side randomness and humor involving the characters downplayed the overall theme for the majority of the story. It was actually character-based and not plot-based like it should have been. The lack of information on both gang’s background made it hard to relate and didn’t allow for more interest toward that side of the story. It became a wannabe gangster story because it didn’t say how or why they were fighting or fleeing for their lives. It was only covered briefly at the beginning of how both sides had been fighting since forever yet never revealed the real reason why.

Tri-Visual

The storytelling style was strange yet intriguing. It made readers want to read more and find out what was going on and what was the deal with these characters. Or if they could get out from the current prison they were in. However, there were only glimpses here and there and some side details of the characters. They could have been extended to a much more complex story.

True Friendship

This story started out introducing the main characters right away and hinted at their established relationship and how it would come into play later on. The story began lighthearted with some side humor and then took a more serious turn as the characters acknowledge much more complex issues surrounding their lives. In some sense, the story allowed the characters to face reality with a hard punch. But in other sense, it felt a little dramatic and forced. Yet the story was still written a dialed down sort of way, like some subtlety of daily life happenings that could edge toward blandness but jumped back with a kick to tell us that reality will strike again. It was a mixture of complexity and simplicity. It had this balance and one tip of the scale would lead the story spiraling away.

When Wishes Come True

The story introduced some promising aspects, such as the story being told from the main character’s point of view. There were also inspirational quotes involved. So that sort of gave a feeling of a legit book. However, it took a shaky turn and ended up being a typical high school, mean girl type of war. There were some interesting ideas but the execution was terrible and the plot dull. If at all, that was.

Winds & Rain

Extremely disappointing because it seemed like an attempt to crank out something that involved the two main characters. It seemed like an unfinished story and didn’t involve a lot of details. It would have been better to wait for some sort of idea to come forth before continuing with the story. It should have been a one-shot, then it would make more sense.

Conclusion

So, aside from being random for this post, what’s the point here? Of all the stories I’ve written, I only liked True Friendship. Yes, that sad. I took it slow and made it through without feeling like I needed to rush anything or wanted to write to please readers. It wasn’t like I didn’t add in random conversations or some bizarre humor. The story had both. But what was different was how the two main characters didn’t end up together but also didn’t downplay their relationship throughout. It acknowledged some of the more realistic aspects of life, even if it didn’t allow for the story to cover all. I did get stuck on it at one time but the time spent thinking about the plot as an overall and side brainstorming, it had allowed me to change the ending for the better, at least to me.

I also realized some things about my writing styles. Well, I already realized it for a while now but here’s an outright confession, lol. Some characters, especially the main ones, tend to fall into one formula. So I think that’s something to take into account to try to make it different in the future. Or least mix it up a bit.

If anyone noticed, I think I got influenced by Gu Long and Jin Yong at times, lol. No jokes. Sad, but I read those two a lot so I got influenced, especially with describing sceneries and stuff. But of course, I couldn’t go to their level. Not yet. The reason I said “not yet” is because I at least want to reserve some hope that one day I could reach another level. Or like find my own styles. For now, just recognizing the flaws is enough.

So that’s the fun post. More to come in the future, hopefully.

NOTE: This post will be updated from time to write as I add more stories to my blog or finish the current ones.

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Year 2015 in Recap

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Oh joy, I’m bringing this back since it’s another year of madness. How did it go? Let’s check the number first, lol. Yes, before I start bragging and realized it wasn’t worth bragging over, lol. But before I actually go into the stats, I would like to thank The New World and iHero for making some of the impossibles happen. Because if it wasn’t for the dramas, I wouldn’t have updated so much or kept it so consistent for the better half of the year. Also, anyone wanting to check out the stat report from WordPress, click here.

Total Posts in 2015:

365 (35% of all time). Yes, I took the challenge of trying to keep up posts for 365 days SO had to brag here. It wasn’t easy and some posts were less impressive than others. However, I think it was already tough that I managed it all year long. For this year, will I be continuing on this pattern? I want to but I would say no. Since quality trumps quantity so I’ll still be updating, still be my random self at times, but I won’t force it as an everyday thing. If it happens, it happens. Now, moving on to the breakdown of different categories.

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Times Updated on People on the Poll:

284 (78% of overall). I took out Ady and Hu Ge early on so I didn’t feel like I needed to include them in this section. Anyway, because I did the 365-day challenge, everyone benefited–one way or another. However, Achel had a surge, leaving Jun Ya behind with only 22 posts, because Wallace, Joanne, Bianca, and Jacky ended up having more posts than him for the year. That knocked him off top 5 for the year yet didn’t damage his overall record too much. Talking about that, he was the reason why I held off so long of not publishing this post since I needed to calculate some of the posts again. Yet I decided to gamble and take out some and possibly double back next year to correct it all. Oh yeah, I didn’t count general updates for some people, especially those with higher numbers already.
Wallace Huo: 26 (9% of the year)
Janine Chang: 16 (6%)
Vic Chou: 12 (4%)
Joanne Tseng: 25 (9%)
Nicholas Teo: 18 (6%)
Xiu Jie Kai: 12 (4%)
Angela Chang: 12 (4%)
Zhao Jun Ya: 22 (8%)
Yvonne Yao: 7 (2%)
Penny Lin: 16 (6%)
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu: 34 (12%)
Sophia Chou: 6 (2%)
Ruby Lin: 16 (6%)
Van Fan: 9 (3%)
Eric Suen: 5 (2%)
Bianca Bai: 25 (9%)
Jacky Chu: 23 (8%)

Books Reviews:

Music Reviews:

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries:

I will say that I was both proud and also a bit ashamed because I was cheating for several dramas by inserting placeholders. I was trying to motivate myself to watch faster and/or fill the spaces yet things got in the way and I fell behind once again.

Fan Fiction:

Songs Translations:

I think that it was too obvious that it was a Phil Chang year for me. Yes, I love that guy. Okay, mostly his songs, lol. But he is funny. Getting back to this, totally outdone myself on some levels. Overall, I translated 51 songs. OMG, that’s like a major achievement for me in this area. The previous year, I only did 12, but that was because I didn’t really take it as a challenge. I think this number will drop the upcoming year since I won’t be forcing myself to update every day.

Chinese: 46

Vietnamese: 5

Side Updates:

130 posts – My randomness seriously has gone way past normal. I didn’t count some of the side stuff. But The New World and iHero obviously dominated the scene for the beginning of the year.

For this year, I hope to bring out more quality posts, like I said earlier. I also hope to finish up the placeholder posts that I haven’t previously. Wish me luck and see you all next year!

Golden Bell Awards 2015: Winners

Yes, I had to quit Facebook to watch faster, lol. I was slower last year with putting it up because I got discouraged with watching after being spoiled, lol. Anyway, congrats to all the winners!

Best Art and Design – Presented by Ming Dao and Janet:
You Jia Shi, Huang Jian Hao, Wu Jin Wei, Cai Can En, Chen Shu Lin (尤佳施、黃健豪、吳進偉、蔡燦恩、陳淑琳) – World’s Top Chinese Music (全球中文音樂榜上榜) (TVBS)
Yao Guo Zhen and Figaro Ceng (姚國禎、曾少宗) – Maidenology (許涼涼與她的少女們)
Chen Wei Zhong (陳韋中) – Freak Family (超級夥伴)
Chen Jia Sheng (陳嘉晟) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Liao Bing (廖秉怡) – A Corner (一個角落)

Best Film Editing – Presented by Hu Gua, Ah Xiang, and Hao Zi:
Lin Xin Min and Zhou Wen Qin (林欣民、周文欽) – Taiwan to the World: Island of Fish: Promise Fish (綻放真台灣5–魚之島:黑潮的承諾)
Nian Li Wen (粘瓈文) – Discovery (台灣製造大解密)
Nian Li Wen and Lin Xin Min (粘瓈文、林欣民) – Taiwan to the World: Island of Fish: Taste of Fish (綻放真台灣5–魚之島:台灣好吃魚)
Lai Meng Jie (賴孟傑) – Freak Family (超級夥伴) (Videoland Television Network)
Su Pei Yi (蘇珮儀) – Rainbow Fairy (尋物少女)

Best Lighting – Presented by Zeng Guo Cheng and Fang Fang Fang:
Li Yuan Yue (李元嶽) – Go Music 3 (音樂萬萬歲3) (PTS)
Xu Shi Ming (許世明) – Mr. Right Wanted (徵婚啟事)
Dong Chong An (董崇安) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Xie Han Yang (謝漢諹) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Zhong Qiong Ting (鍾瓊婷) – Probing Worries (偷窺心事) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Supporting Actress – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Zhong Xin Ling and Lin Mei Xiu:
Momo Wu (吳若湄) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Vivi Lee (李維維) – A Corner (一個角落) (CTI)
Chen Qiu Zhen (陳秋貞) – Let The Sunshine In (浪子單飛)
Xie Ying Xuan (謝盈萱) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)

Best Sound Editing – Presented by Zhu Ke Liang and (?):
Li Chun Xiong, Lin Jie, Xia Jing Chun, and Xie Zong Jie (李春雄、林潔、夏敬淳、謝宗杰) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Yu Zheng Xian (余政憲) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Hong Zi Wei (洪梓為) – 1 Carat’s Roommate (一克拉的室友) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Chen Fei Wu and Shen Zhi Peng (陳飛午、沈志朋) – Taiwan to the World: Island of Fish: Taste of Fish (綻放真台灣5–魚之島:台灣好吃魚)
Jiang Zhen Dao, Xu Lan Ting, Chen Wei Jun, You Wan Shen (蔣震道、徐嵐婷、陳惟君、游寓紳) – Freak Family (超級夥伴)

Best Supporting Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Zhu Ke Liang and (?):
Chris Wu (吳慷仁) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)
Mason Lee (李淳) – Love’s End Point (愛情的盡頭)
Michael Huang (黃仲崑) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)
Xi Xiang (喜翔) – God of Love Karaoke (愛神卡拉OK) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Wen Cheng Lin (溫乘麟) – Mother’s Practiced Tune (母親練習曲)

Best Leading Actor – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Zhu Ke Liang and (?):
Easton Dong (東明相) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Kaiser Chuang (莊凱勛) – The Road Home (回家路上)
Kaiser Chuang (莊凱勛) – On A Journey (出遊) (PTS’ Student Life Story Collection)
Jag Huang (黃健瑋) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)
Huang Deng Hui (黃鐙輝) – Let The Sunshine In (浪子單飛)

Best Cinematography – Presented by Zhang Fei and Ruby Lin:
Li Ming (李鳴) – Rainbow Fairy (尋物少女) (CTI)
Zhou Wen Qin, Zhang Wei Zhi, and Liang Yi Yang (周文欽、張緯誌、梁義洋) – Taiwan to the World: Island of Fish: Promise Fish (綻放真台灣5–魚之島:黑潮的承諾)
Hu Wu Zheng (胡午正) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Feng Xin Hua (馮信華) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Huang Pei Li, Hu Guo wei, Xie Zheng Feng, Du Li Ren, and Liang Yong Guang (黃培理、胡國偉、謝政峰、杜立仁、梁勇光) – Slow Travel Adventures (浩克慢遊) (PTS)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Tele-movies – Presented by Zhang Fei and Ruby Lin:
Yu Wei Shan (于瑋珊) – The Kids (小孩)
Chen Yi Ru (陳怡儒) – On A Journey (出遊)
Zhang Qi En (張綺恩) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Huang Jian Ming and Wang Hui Zhu (黃建銘、王卉竺) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)
Cai Yi Deng (蔡沂澄) – The Road Home (回家路上)

Best Leading Actress – Min-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Zhang Fei and Ruby Lin:
Mei Fang (梅芳) – Water’s Origin (水源地) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Jenny Wen (溫貞菱) – The Kids (小孩)
Megan Lai (賴雅妍) – Love’s End Point (愛情的盡頭) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)
Yan Yi Wen (嚴藝文) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Yan Yi Wen (嚴藝文) – Mother’s Practiced Tune (母親練習曲) (PTS’ Life Story Collection)

Best Director – Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Ye Quan Zhen and (?):
Yu Wei Shan (于瑋珊) – The Kids (小孩)
Wang Chuan Zong (王傳宗) – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
Xu Rong Rong (許榕容) – Let The Sunshine In (浪子單飛)
Liao Shi Han (廖士涵) – The Road Home (回家路上)
Aozaru Shiao (蕭力修) – Wake Up (麻醉風暴)

Best Mini-series/ Tele-movies – Presented by Ye Quan Zhen and (?):
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The Kids (小孩)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Angel’s Voice Recorder (天使的收音機)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – The Road Home (回家路上)
PTS’ Life Story Collection – Let The Sunshine In (浪子單飛)
Wake Up (麻醉風暴) (PTS)

Best Screenwriter/ Script – Drama – Presented by Blue Lan and (?):
Du Zheng Zhe, Lu Hui Xin, Yang Hui Wen, and Li Song Lin (杜政哲、盧慧心、楊蕙文、李松霖) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Lu Shi Yuan (呂蒔媛) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)
Wu Fan / Wu Yu Qing, Deng Li Fen, Hei Mi / Tu Fang Xiang, and Chen Jia Zhen (吳繁/吳毓青、鄧莉芬、黑米/涂芳祥、陳嘉振) – iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄)
Xu Yu Ting (徐譽庭) – Apple In Your Eye (妹妹)
Huang Zhi Xiang (黃志翔) – The New World (新世界)

Best Supporting Actor – Drama – Presented by Blue Lan and (?):
Zhu De Gang (朱德剛) – The New World (新世界)
Mark Lee (李天柱) – San Bao Wanted To Go Home (三寶要回家) (DaAi TV)
Zhang Shao Huai (張少懷) – Mr. Right Wanted (徵婚啟事) (GTV / TTV)
Melvin Sia (謝佳見) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Soda Voyu (蘇達) – iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄)

Best Supporting Actress – Drama – Presented by Blue Lan and (?):
Jean Lee (李依瑾) – The New World (新世界)
Lin Yu Xuan (林雨宣) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)
Miao Ke Li (苗可麗) – Someone Like You (聽見幸福) (SETTV)
Tiffany Hsu (許瑋甯) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Isa Hsieh (謝瓊煖) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)

Best Leading Actress – Drama – Presented by Wilber Pan and Rainie Yang:
Zhu Zhi Ying (朱芷瑩) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Ruby Lin (林心如) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Huang Pei Jia (黃姵嘉) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)
Rabbit Yang (楊可涵) – The New World (新世界) (TTV)
Janel Tsai (蔡淑臻) – iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄)

Best Director – Drama – Presented by Zhang Chen Guang and Tian Xin:
Li Zhi Qiang (李志薔) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)
Chen Rong Hui (陳戎暉) – Apple In Your Eye (妹妹)
Xu Fu Xiang (許富翔) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Xu Zhao Ren (許肇任) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)
Lai Meng Jie and Zhang Xiu Cheng (賴孟傑、張修誠) – iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄)

Best Leading Actor – Drama – Presented by Vic Chou, Ariel Lin, and Chen Bo Lin:
Chris Wu (吳慷仁) – Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所)
Kurt Chou (周孝安) – iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄)
Leroy Yang (楊一展) – The Way We Were (16個夏天)
Blue Lan (藍正龍) – Apple In Your Eye (妹妹)
Lan Wei Hua (藍葦華) – Brave Forward (新丁花開)

Best Dramas – Presented by Bu Xue Liang, Harlem Yu, Zhang Xiao Yan, and Huang Zi Jiao:
The Way We Were (16個夏天) (TVBS)
iHero (C.S.I.C鑑識英雄) (CTV)
Apple In Your Eye (妹妹) (GTV)
Long Day’s Journey Into Light (出境事務所) (Hakka TV)
Brave Forward (新丁花開) (Hakka TV)

*All information were translated and verified by DTLCT.

Liao Zhai 2014: Review

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Story 1 – Judge Lu (陆判)

Probably the most anticipated for me because of Qiao Zhen Yu yet I felt disappointed in it. Not because of the other cast or anything. I surprisingly liked Alice Ko in here since she hasn’t really clicked for me in her past dramas. Then perhaps it was just the plot or strange characterization that made it hard to relate for me. In here, she was really cute and funny as Qi Ting and was cunning and creepy as Jing Lan. The same for Liu Dong, portraying two roles so seamlessly alongside Alice. However, the plot was just dragging on and on between the Zhu sisters fighting over Tao Yue Ming that it didn’t appeal to me as much. Well, Qi Ting wasn’t fighting with her sister, but it seemed to shuffle back and forth between the love story so I wasn’t as interested in it as I would have.

Story 2 – Heaven and Earth (乾坤)

Surprisingly good. I was having doubts about this pairing of Cecilia Han Xue and Chen Long. Yet their chemistry was quite good. I enjoyed their story more because of the combinations of the battle in the demon realm and how the story eventually played out. What was funny was how my mom (who is a major fan of Norman Chui) thought that he was just in here for some side, unimportant character that needed to be rescued. However, when the twist came around, it was indeed quite chilling. It was a nice twist though. He had to be the big, bad guy. How could he just stand aside and play some small role, right? Nice. Bittersweet ending, but it wasn’t too tragic. Well, it was when the ending was unknown. But once the last scene rolled around, it wasn’t too bad.

Story 3 – Heng Niang (恒娘)

The chemistry between Lin You Wei and Kimi Li was so cute. At least initially. Having done the translations for the plot summary, I had expected the inevitable. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying their cute moments. How she hugged him when she finally arrived at the town. He was so happy and hugged her back. Then there was also the part where she tried to act all civilized and polite with the courtesy, so of course, she didn’t eat as much. It was so funny watching her trying to find food and then finding food at last. I totally sympathize. How could anyone eat so little? The cutest part was how he placed a cup of water/tea on the table. It showed that the person who prepared the special midnight dinner for her was him. So she hugged him, so touched. Only he would understand her. It was really cute and nice. He told her not to hold back since it was her house after all, so she could eat all that she wanted. Indeed, so cute. It was hard to see how he could betray her later on. Yet when the scenes finally came around regarding the betrayal, I realized that it wasn’t what was let on in the summary. There were many factors to think about. So in the end, I sort of forgive them for the mess. I felt that after all that was said and done, Heng Niang and Tian Fu belonged together.

Poor James Wen, once again had to play the bad guy. Yet I think for this type of short story, it was all right. He didn’t disappoint. After all, they needed to cut Lin You Wei some slacks, considering how he had to play some not so likable characters in the past. It was about time he stepped out of the shadow, right? Somewhat dramatic but was entertaining enough with a mixture of fantasies and all. Not to mention how they got past the ‘time travel’ thing! LOL! If only it was that obvious to cut out, right? Nicely done.

Story 4 – Lian Suo (连琐)

Hilarious. At least at first. Because of how Royce Wong’s character, Yang Yu Wei, was so freaked out by the ghost haunting his new house. It was insane. He tried everything but it didn’t work. He tried to reassure his brother that he was fine, but of course, he was far from fine. The story was quite intriguing at various points, with both sweetness and bitterness. Plus other very terrifying aspects, once again visiting the theme of people sometimes are scarier than ghosts/demons.

Story 5 – Ye Sheng (叶生)

Sad, so sad. But it wasn’t too frustrating. Okay, it was in a way since there was a little more time before the ending yet the main guy died. But I think it wasn’t for nothing. The prince grew up still remembering him and still referred to him as his father. Talking about that, I especially like the relationship between Medic Ye and the young prince as father and son.

There were twists and turns about the plot and the unexpected thing led others to realize sometimes things weren’t what they were seen. Even if you think you got the story straight. A very touching story on many levels.

Story 6 – Kingdom of Female Demons (夜叉国)

*Can’t find it, will go back later since I am quite intrigued by this story after translating the summary.

Story 7 – The Flower Spirit (花姑子)

*Might go back later. (If I can find it.)

Story 8 – Maiden In Green (绿衣女)

Interestingly my favorite story among all. I was just curious about how Bianca would fend and how the story would be. I also have doubts about her pairing up with Calvin Li. Yet they were awesome. I loved them from the start. Their story was touching and quite real. I meant aside from the whole fantasy elements, lol. I know, sounds ironic. But their relationship with living in the mountains and taking care of his mom as a family was quite nice. Then the other elements made it quite tragic. What was nice about it was how the Taoist wasn’t such an uptight, not knowing the gray areas–like some other stories in the past had led on. He was quite cool and knew that there were actually good demons as well, not just outright lumping them all together. At least, it was when he realized what was going on after the initial disagreement. What was a bit ironic about the situation was how she was the demon at the beginning of the story yet in the end, he was the demon. How could they work it out? Well, I guess they waited for so long, they would find a way to get past that obstacle as well. Not to mention how they needed her father’s approval too.

So conclusion? I think it’s clear that story #8 is my ultimate favorite. Then story # 2, #5, #4, #3, and #1–in that order. It’s because I haven’t watched the other two yet so I couldn’t place them. But will go back for those later and possibly change my answer. Anyway, I would’ve placed #3 higher but I think because of some repeated stuff, I want to switch it out. Although #4 was quite frustrating at some points too, I think the overall sort of made it worthwhile. Even if it was really tragic. Number #3, only found Lin You Wei and Kimi Li cute. Although the story with the fox demons was intriguing but also frustrating so I didn’t care for it as much. And I already explained why #1 is so low on the list.

Liao Zhai 2014: Heng Niang (恒娘)

At the county town, there was a set of ongoing murders. The official Hong Tian Fu (Lin You Wei)’s wife, Heng Niang (Kimi Li), on her way traveling from the villages to the county town unexpectedly met with a weird old woman, a wine addict (Fan Xiao Bo). Both parties treated one another like old friends upon that first meeting. Heng Niang’s inability to change her village girl habits and personalities had caused Tian Fu to lose face wherever she went. Fortunately, through the weird old woman’s teaching, Heng Niang had changed from inside out to a new person. The person responsible for the deaths around town was a fox demon Di Lun (James Wen). Because he was trying to turn into an immortal thus letting Heng Niang fall into his trap and eventually losing herself, turning into a very fierce and cold-blooded person. So the weird old woman was actually Heng Niang’s former self. That one year, having to face her husband’s changed heart and her failed suicide attempt, she went into the mountains and had successfully mastered the immortality technique and turned into an immortal fox. She originally thought that she could change her life by returning to the past and mentoring her past self thus starting anew yet ended up losing the most precious of all, her humanity.

Huyện thành liên tiếp xảy ra những vụ án có liên quan tới mạng người. Vợ của huyện lệnh Hồng Thiên Phúc (Lâm Hữu Uy) là Hằng Nương (Lý Kim Minh), trên đường từ nông thôn đi tới huyện thành bất ngờ gặp phải một bà lão quái lạ, coi rượu như mạng (Phạm Tiểu Ba). Hai bên mới gặp nhau nhưng coi nhau như đôi bạn cũ. Hằng Nương vì không đổi được tánh nết của một cô gái nông thôn nên đi tới đâu cũng khiến Thiên Phúc mất mặt. May thay nhờ lão bà quá lạ kia chăm sóc dạy bảo nên Hằng Nương từ trong ra ngoài đã rực rỡ hẳn lên. Kẻ tạo ra những vụ án mạng kia chính là hồ yêu Địch Luân (Ôn Thăng Hào). Vì tu luyện tiên pháp cho nên để cho Hằng Nương rơi vào tinh tâm kế của hắn khiến Hằng Nương dần dần mất đi tự ngã và trở nên tâm tánh cay độc. Bà lão quái lạ kia hóa ra là Hằng Nương của ngày xưa. Năm đó vì đối mặt với sự thay lòng của chồng mình và vì tự sát không thành nên đã vào núi tu luyện thành hồ tiên. Đáng lẽ nghĩ rằng có thể quay về quá khứ để có thể dạy cho bản thân cách thay đổi chính mình và có một cuộc sống mới. Ai ngờ đã mất đi thứ quý nhứt, chính là nhân tính.

*All information was from Baidu, and all translations were by DTLCT.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.